One Response to “Farewell Dr Finlay”

  1. Andrew Clark August 25, 2016 at 10:43 am #

    I am glad you had fun creating Farewell to Dr Finlay’, which I listened to avidly on book of the week on Radio 4 and Iplayer. I am the second son, born 1934 of a single handed GP, whose home and panel practice was very much in the heart of the industrial north of the City of Coventry. Perhaps through social expectation, my education was private following the norm of boys’ preparatory school and public school, all boarding partially on account of WW2. What your programme demonstrated how lucky I was since it has left me with the impression that he was far from well off and clearly must have made financial sacrifices, which I now appreciate so much more. I am perhaps masking my mother’s contribution since she read medicine in Edinburgh and went on to qualify as an eye special with skills pressed in service in late 1939 as a member of Coventry and Warwick hospital eye department, whilst the male members left for army service, as indeed my father did. I have thus only known a working mother, who died young from cancer in 1962 leaving father a widower for over 30 years.
    As the NHS was pending for which my parents had no experience, they were reluctant to suggest to my older brother and me medicine as a career when important subject decisions were being taken at school, as a result after Oxford he became a solicitor with local government and, with engineering on my doorstep, I served a five year indentured apprenticeship in a world-renowned Coventry machine company, progressing into export sales as an engineer. A further social aside relates to father’s cleaner, a lady who went into service in 1900. To me, she was always Mrs Halford, to whom I am indebted because she showed me, aged 12, how shoes should be cleaned ( she always did father’s) and how to tie a bow tie, both great assets for pending national service, the latter once commissioned and as a member of an officers’ mess on guest nights. I am similarly indebted to you, Dr McCartney for widening my overview of my family circumstances, now no longer wrapped in mystery. May I ask could you have imagined the period your researched would spark off social comments from GPs’ children, like myself?

Leave a Reply